Phone locking forms a prerequisite for a business to cell phone service providers as it enables them to sell payment plans or contracts. A carrier locked phone keeps the customer on the network until they fulfill their contractual obligation. This way, the service provider can stay afloat in business. The question now should be, how do I unlock my phone for free? You can have your network service provider unlock your cell phone if you have no outstanding bill on your account. Each carrier has its set minimum requirements to unlock a device. For instance, you can confirm what is needed to unlock Sprint phone online from their site or the information on how to unlock the T-Mobile phone on their web page.
One of the essential requirements is to unlock a sprint phone to ascertain whether the phone is genuinely yours. Some of the Samsung models and other Android devices have a Factory Reset Protection feature that locks the phone from unauthorized access. When purchasing a used Samsung device, ask the seller to give you the password or use the Samsung FRP lock bypass tool. On the other hand, to unlock an iPhone on the Sprint network, you can use the Sprint iPhone unlock service, which is available online. You can use the platform to place an order to unlock a particular cell phone by providing information such as the iPhone model and the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number.
Are you still wondering how do I unlock my sprint phone? Well, a few more requirements will be necessary to enable the whole process. Remember that the procedure for unlocking a mobile phone on the Sprint network is not the same compared to other carriers. Also, it is equally important to note that unlocking a prepaid device is slightly different from what is needed to unlock a cell phone under a postpaid plan. It is worthwhile to bear in mind that with Sprint, it is not possible to have your phone unlocked when you have not completed your device payment terms. Continue reading below to find out the details about the process set out by Sprint for unlocking your cell phone.
What Are The Requirements To Unlock A Sprint Phone?
One of the benefits of having your cell phone unlocked is the freedom to migrate to a wireless provider of your choice easily. Especially when traveling overseas, you can switch to a local carrier. Using a regional network operator is cheaper compared to retaining the same service provider on roaming mode. Remove the SIM card and replace it with the one provided by the local wireless network carrier. However, to enable you to switch carriers consider the below requirements first before unlocking your mobile phone:
- It should be SIM Unlock capable.
- The cell phone must be from Sprint.
- There should be no outstanding or pending payments or fees for the device.
- The device must be attached to an account with an outstanding compliance record.
- It must have been active at least 50 days on the Sprint network, and over 12 months, you happen to be on a prepaid plan.
- It must not have been reported as stolen, lost, and should not be blocked or related to any fraudulent activity.
How To Unlock A Sprint Phone?
In case you are on a postpaid plan, your phone will automatically unlock upon completing your contract. If you are uncertain, then just like those on prepaid plan seeking to unlock, contact the customer care to have them unlock it. Note that Sprint Mobile has two distinct customer support departments dedicated to cellphone unlocking.
To request for Sprint unlocks, you must get in touch with Sprint Customer Care, the wing for domestic unlocking. If you need military or international unlock, however, Sprint Worldwide Care is the right team to contact. In addition, there are some details that you should divulge to finish the process. Such are listed below.
- Your device account number
- Full name
- Last four digits of your SSN
- Your device account password
- IMEI or MEID of your cell phone
- The phone number for your device
- Deployment papers for military deployment
When buying a phone from another person through platforms such as Craigslist, make sure the seller furnishes you with the above details in case you intend to switch to another carrier. If the device has been inactive, note that you may be required to provide extra information for verification purposes to unlock.
To unlock a Sprint phone to military personnel serving abroad, you can contact Sprint worldwide care to have your cell phone checked for eligibility. The above requirement still applies in addition to overseas deployment papers. If one is unable to call, you can place an unlock request through an online chat with a customer care representative. Sprint also allows short term unlocking for intercontinental travelers who meet the eligibility criteria.
Which Sprint Mobile Phones Are Unlock Compliant?
Nearly all the popular flagship Sprint phones qualify for domestic and global unlocking. It means you can insert a SIM card from another carrier for activation on the new network, both in the United States and abroad.
Here are a few examples of eligible Sprint cell phones for national and international unlocking:
- iPhone 6s Plus
- Samsung Galaxy S8+
- iPhone 7 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy S9+
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 5c
- LG G5
- iPhone 6s
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8
- iPhone 8
- Samsung Galaxy S8
- LG G6
- iPhone 5s
- iPhone 6
- LG V30
- iPhone 7
- Samsung Galaxy S9
- iPhone X
Note that iPhone 5 is an exclusion in this list, meaning you cannot unlock it for domestic use on a different wireless provider. Moreover, there are many other qualifying Sprint devices for unlocking, which you can visit its website for an updated list.
It is also vital to know whether or not you have an unlocked Sprint device. Here three quick ways to help check the unlock status on a Sprint handset:
- Contact the customer service desk to check if the device has been unlocked or is eligible to be unlocked.
- Check through your cell phone settings as follows:
- To unlock a Sprint phone running on Android, go to settings then mobile networks and select network operators, i.e., Setting > Mobile Networks > Network Operators. If there are no other network names present, then the device is unlocked.
- For an iPhone, go to settings then cellular and select cellular data, i.e., Setting > cellular > cellular data. If there is an option for “cellular Data Options,” then the device is unlocked.
- Confirm from third party sites using the IMEI number.
How To Unlock A Sprint Phone For International Travel?
We’ve already told you that you can unlock a Sprint phone for traveling out of the country. For that reason, you’ll get to remove the Sprint SIM card and insert a new one from a preferred overseas carrier in your travel destination. But you must first qualify for Sprint international unlocks through these requirements:
- You must be an existing Sprint Mobile customer
- Your device should be at least ninety days active on the network
- The phone should not have overdue payments
- No record of unlocking more than one Sprint phone within the last twelve months
You must contact Sprint to seek an international note. Nevertheless, note that international unlocking doesn’t necessarily unlock a Sprint phone for domestic use. Therefore, you’ll still be applying for another access code when changing your US carrier.
The above conditions also apply to customers seeking unlocks for military service abroad. In this case, you must first show proof of service deployment. Moreover, you shouldn’t have a previous Sprint unlock history inside the past twelve months.
Unlocking A Sprint Phone Without Early Termination Fees
You can only unlock a Sprint phone if it meets the associated service agreement, including the lease contract or installment billing agreement. Regardless, you can still opt out of any Sprint cell phone deal, prematurely, through one of the following options:
- Early termination fees or ETF for a contractual cell phone deal
- Accelerated payments on leases or installments
- Purchase options at the end of your lease
Note that customers don’t own a leased device. The only way to complete a SIM unlock on a leased phone is by exercising the end of the lease purchase option after an expedited lease term payment.
Fortunately, you can unlock a Sprint phone by switching to another network with ETF or installment plan buyout deal. In this way, you’ll access incentives from some of the major wireless carriers, assisting consumers in joining their network. For example, here’s how to unlock a sprint phone that’s not paid off by switching to AT&T or T-Mobile and avoiding Sprint expensive ETFs bills.
Switching To AT&T With No ETF
The cell phone service provider is giving up to $650 to incentivize subscribers from their existing operators and move to AT&T. You can get this deal through the following steps:
- Obtain a new AT&T smartphone on the Next Installment plan
- Activate a new service line on an eligible plan
- Port-in your Sprint phone number
- Trade-in your old smartphone
- Forward your Sprint Mobile bill to AT&T for payment
AT&T is going to cover every switched line by up to $650. It means the company will finance the early termination fees on your Sprint contract by a maximum of $350, or fund the remainder of an installment or lease plan to the tune of $650. In addition, the carrier will deduct the trade-in value of your device from your account payment before giving you a promo prepaid card with the balance.
Switching To T-Mobile With No ETF
T-Mobile has been running a crusade to remove early termination fees for many years. The Telcom operator offers to pay off a device remaining balance from a different carrier or any associated ETF when a user switches to its network. In this way, you can unlock a sprint phone that’s not paid off, easily.
Qualifications for this offer are similar to AT&T as follows:
- Trade-in your current device in good working condition
- Port over the Sprint cell number to T-Mobile
- Get a new mobile phone from T-Mobile through an installment plan.
- Activate a new service line on the T-Mobile One plan
- Submit to T-Mobile your Sprint Mobile bill
Subscribers moving to T-Mobile via the above deal will receive a prepaid card with $350 to reimburse Sprint ETFs cost. Alternatively, you could get $650 for accelerated installment or lease payment.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Can I unlock a Sprint phone if I owe money?
To unlock a Sprint phone, first of all, you need to finish your payments. In case you have an outstanding balance, then the carrier does not have to unlock your device. And if you are eligible, Sprint will give you a notification.
2. Can you unlock a Sprint cell phone without contacting the carrier?
Sprint allows automatic unlocking for eligible Sim unlock capable phones for their customers on a postpaid plan. However, for qualified prepaid customers, the request to unlock should be submitted through the customer service desk.
3. What does ## 873283 do on a Sprint cell phone?
##873283# updates the cell phone’s Preferred Roaming List and is a catalog that shows radio bands, sub-bands, and carrier IDs on CDMA Sprint phones. It enables the device to connect to the correct tower.
4. How can I unlock a Sprint phone that is paid off and still active?
An active, paid off Sprint cellphone that meets all the unlock conditions should get an access code automatically. The carrier sends the lock code shortly after a customer completes their purchase or agreement. If not, we would recommend that you contact a Sprint Mobile agent for assistance.
5. Can I unlock my old Sprint cellphone after upgrading to a new model?
There are chances Sprint unlocked your phone already if it is not active on your account but in your possession. It’s best to call a customer representative to check it. If it is still locked, the agent will forward an unlock ticket for the device to the relevant department to unblocking.
6. Can my mobile operator decline to unblock my cellphone?
Yes. Your wireless operator may turn down a request to unblock a device if you have an unmet installment plan agreement. Any unpaid balances or previous due payments could also inform the refusal. Moreover, mobile carriers don’t unlock phones with stolen or lost reports. Finally, a wireless provider is likely to decline your unlock request if you haven’t satisfied their unlocking requirements.
7. Can Sprint unlock a Sprint phone for a non-customer?
Yes. Non-Sprint consumers can unblock a third-party-purchased Sprint cellphone by providing the handset’s last-registered account name and number. However, note that the device must meet all of Sprint account and financial unlocking requirements to be eligible for unblocking.
There are a few requirements when you want to unlock a Sprint phone. These vary across different wireless network carriers and mobile plans. However, having an unlocked device is more convenient than a network locked device. Using an unlocked network service enables you to switch your SIM on any phone of your choice and stay in touch with those who matter so having a Sprint phone that is unlocked lets one to migrate to another carrier or switch devices at will.